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Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts

An Illustrated Presentation by Dr. Lena Hatzichronoglou

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At one time or another we have all used the expression “Beware of the Greeks Bearing Gifts.” But where does this phrase come from and why do we use it? Why are the Greeks mentioned here, and what is the story behind them? What are these gifts all about, and why should we be on our guard about them?

In this seminar we will explore the origin of this common expression. Together, we will go several centuries back— more than two millennia to be exact—and we will look at Virgil’s The Aeneid where our phrase is coming from. For a few moments, we will assume that we are sitting next to Aeneas, and we are experiencing ourselves his heroic account of the incredible events, which led to his country’s destruction.

We will also witness the power this story has had throughout the centuries influencing people and providing inspiration for art, and we will draw conclusions for our world of today.

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